Treading Water in the Proverbs 31 Pool (Part II)
Find Part 1 of Treading Water in the Proverbs 31 Pool here.
Part II of Treading Water in the Proverbs 31 Pool
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:13
I need to be strong physically in order to accomplish my God given tasks. What are my God given tasks? I am a wife and mother. I need to keep my home in order. I regularly spend time with college students. I am a member of the body of Christ. Being in ministry and being a part of an active church body is a lot. It requires that I have stamina. What can I do to be most effective?
I exercise every day. I have a good quality treadmill and some excellent exercise DVD’s. But what about sleep? Do I get enough sleep? What about my diet? Am I practicing self control? Am I putting things into my body that help me to be strong and fit so that I might accomplish what God has for me to do each day? How about my weight? Am I a good testimony or does my weight show that I am not using self control in my eating habits?
Please know that I am aware that there are health problems and age related challenges that exist making weight loss difficult, and that not all weight problems are due to a lack of self control. But this is not the case for me, so I am evaluating with this in mind.
Sleep/Eating: God is showing me some ways I can improve in my eating habits and some things that I need to cut back on or eliminate in order to be the best I can be physically. I am looking into some supplements that are meant to support women my age! All of this is a part of being as physically fit as I can be, so that I might be the most affective in the tasks God has given me to do. So I can serve my family and those whom God brings to my door. So I have the energy to keep my home in order, make nutritious meals (not resorting to fast food too often!) and not drag through the day! It takes my being purposeful in how I use my time and what I put into my body.
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming
1 Peter 1:13
(….AND, yet ANOTHER wave of conviction!)
One thing that came to my mind was, again, getting enough sleep. There is no way I can be mentally alert and fit if I am dragging through the day. I need to do what I can to make sure I am resting so that my mind is clear and not foggy! That means cutting out caffeine after a certain time so that I sleep well, getting to bed at a decent time, and praying for God’s peace in my mind and soul as I deal with all of life.
How do I handle stress? Do I “melt down” or do I practice self control in my responses to stressful situations, casting all … I mean all … my cares on God (Psalm 55:22)? I have found that when I respond to life by “melting down” it doesn’t change my circumstances … it just makes them harder to deal with (for me and for those around me!)
I also find that if I am exhausted and dragging physically and mentally, it can start me down the road of depression. I need to be on guard and protect myself from that. There is also a need to make sure that I am consistently fellowshipping and spending time with members of the body of Christ. God has used His body in countless ways to help me mentally. They are there to point me to the Word and help me have a biblical perspective. They are there to give Godly council and to pray with me. They help support me in all that God has called me to do. They encourage me and cheer me on. It is vital that I am regularly in touch with other believers so that they can help me in my “mental fitness!”
(The biggest wave of conviction washed over me!)
One of the biggest hindrances to mental fitness is not disciplining my mind. Daydreaming, imagining things that are not real, getting lost in thought … all are ways that I can potentially hinder my mental fitness. The Scriptures tell us we are to “bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5) and that we are to “think on… whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, excellent or praiseworthy…” (Philippians 4:8).
When I don’t obey, it’s as if I come to an abrupt halt! Bringing thoughts captive and confessing sin enable me to think clearly with a clean conscience. It enables me to hear God’s voice clearly. It allows me to have peace of mind. Being careful in choosing what I put into my mind in the way of movies, TV viewing, and what I read in books, magazines and the Internet, are also ways that I can be mentally fit. Fit for God’s use!
God is faithful to show me some of the reasons that I might struggle spiritually. He is reintroducing me to the Proverbs 31 woman. She isn’t really all that scary to me anymore! She is actually helping me a lot! She is pointing out areas in my life where God has caused there to be growth. That is encouraging. And she is helping me see how I can do better and where there needs to be growth.
I will be continuing to tread water in Proverbs 31 pool for awhile. Next I am going to study what the word “dignity” means in verse 25. I’ll let you know what I learn!